Speaking on hugs and slugs
by By ROB COOMBS, ID. Min. Ph.D.
Jul 28, 2013 | 1401 views | 0 0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A friend called me a few minutes ago in total frustration. It seems her mother had telephoned and, once again, went ballistic, not unlike a sawed-off shotgun.

There’s a reason sawed-off shotguns are against the law. When the trigger is pulled, deadly shot scatters quickly and widely, leaving a path of indiscriminate, sometimes fatal, destruction for anyone who just happens to be in the vicinity.

The same is true for this mother and many others like her. She shoots off her mouth, exploding in anger, venting her frustrations, leaving a swath of destruction that inflicts emotional wounds upon anyone in her path.

Why, in the name of sanity, would anyone in their right mind put up with this? For a variety of reasons, I believe they are unwittingly seduced by the false expectation that somehow, someway, this time it might be different. This belief serves as a lure that draws the victim in ever so close, close enough to once again be a convenient target.

How does this happen? With bait, of course. And I am convinced that the bait that works best, especially if it is someone who is part of our family, is hugs. These hugs come in a variety of forms. From the tight physical embrace to a shared moment over the telephone with an individual maybe a thousand miles away.

What all hugs have in common is connection. This connection effectively lures you within range, making you vulnerable, especially in the area of the heart which endures one repeated attack after another. Is this hopeless? Does she simply have to endure attack after attack? No. Like any hunted animal, my friend needs to understand the hunter’s game and then be wise enough, smart enough, cunning enough, not to expose herself, thus making herself an easy target.

How does one successfully prevent being preyed upon? One must come to understand that hugs are bait that exposes one to slugs. I know how especially sad and troublesome this may sound. Using hugs as bait is despicable, deplorable, disgraceful, detestable.

No one wants to believe that anyone would use such bait and that’s exactly why the bait is successful again and again and again. Outwitting this hunter is far from easy. Only after many wounds do some begin to understand the game and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

If you feel like you are making yourself an all too easy target for a hunter in your life — perhaps you are such an easy target there are several hunters repeatedly taking aim at you — trust me, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself.

1. Stay out of range. Understand that the hugs are no longer worth the slugs. A word of caution: once you begin to stay out of range, expect the hunter to intensify her efforts in order to draw you close once again. Don’t be fooled by this.

2. Camouflage yourself. Refuse to expose your vulnerabilities. Stop making yourself an easy target.

3. Position yourself. Seek the high ground, refusing to be drawn close by any of her cunning tactics, including being reduced to picking up your own weapon and firing back. This brings you to her level and is technically a victory for her.

4. Leave her territory. Find others who are capable of giving you a steady diet of hugs without the slugs.